Preparations for the U-17 FIFA World Cup are in full swing, with the Sports Ministry and FIFA working tirelessly to make the event a grand success. But things aren’t exactly going according to plan, at least regarding the ticket sales.
The ticket sales for the third phase have seen a massive dip, especially in Guwahati, where phase 1 and phase 2 witnessed a overwhelming response.
“Ticket sales in Guwahati were extremely strong in Phase I and Phase II but have unexpectedly declined currently. Football is a religion in Guwahati and other parts of the North-East India, and hence we are not very worried about filling the stadium,” Ceppi, the Tournament Director said.
“The internet penetration in the city is good and we don’t see the online sale of tickets as a concern; however, fans just need a reminder for the best live football they are about to witness,” Ceppi added.
Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Stadium has a capacity of close to 23,850 people.
“It may seem to people that not too attractive teams are here, but let me tell you France has Amine Gouiri who was the top scorer of UEFA U-17 Championship with eight goals. He already plays in Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon) for their senior team.”
“Takefusa Kubo plays for Japan – he was the star of Barcelona youth system and is the youngest scorer in the J-League. We saw him last year in the AFC U-16 Championships, and he is an absolute phenomenon. He is bound to be the best Asian player ever. Such is the quality of the players coming in Guwahati for the games,” Ceppi emphasised.
France, Chile, Japan and Mexico will be competing in Guwahati.
“I have spoken to the club presidents of Chile football clubs, who have produced the likes of Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez, Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel and they were confident that their U-17 team is capable of beating the senior clubs in Chile. Mexico, as we all know, has an excellent reputation in the tournament and are a force to be reckoned with,” Ceppi concluded